Course Code: ARCH10003
Civic Fabrication : (Per)Forming Communities
Unit Instructors Alex MacLaren, Fiona McLachlan

Student Publication: PROLOGUE (73MB download)

We interpret ‘tectonics’ as the careful assembly of site, programme and matter, forming a coherent identity. ‘Civic Fabrication’ will inform this assembly with three concurrent strands of investigation; the abstract, inspired by a work of art; the urban, investigating regeneration plans, and the inhabited; the programme of our civic building, a Theatre.

The unit investigates building proposals in Dalmarnock, Glasgow for the second year. We are grateful to Clyde Gateway PLC for sharing their plans for regeneration of the area, and the post-Commonwealth Games legacy period.

We will commence with exploratory tectonic experiments in mixed media, we will develop an architectural idea to drive the tectonic enquiry, and produce building designs that invite and engage the community. Students are challenged to establish and articulate civic presence in a depressed context, fast-developing but void of coherent identity.

Each student will site and design a Community Theatre, and the public space around that building. This programme offers the opportunity to interpret the architectural language of a contemporary community building imaginatively and consider its place in establishing a civic identity. The unit requires students to address the theme of ‘social inclusivity’: to consider local residents, current and future, and the possibilities for knitting together disparate and damaged communities.

The Players
‘Civic Fabrication’ engages input from those outside the university and outside the discipline of architecture. We will have lectures, visits and seminars from Clyde Gateway (the regeneration developer in the area), an Urban Planner at A+DS, local architects working on a similar theatre project, and a Theatre Director / Stage Manager. You will be asked to engage professionally with these stakeholders in your design.

This year our unit will specifically address the theme of ‘social inclusion’ through design, and we will produce a small book, sponsored by UC Berkeley, collating students’ work on this topic. Student Work will also appear on the Berkeley Prize website.


Fabricators (2012) M. Ratansky. In Tectonic Acts of Desire and Doubt (p12-27) ; Architecture Words 9 ; AA Publications


Tectonics – The Differentiation and Collaboration of Architecture and Engineering (2012) P. Schumacher, London

Strange Details. (2007) Cadwell, M. MIT Press

The Butterfly Effect. Punctual Architectural Disturbances for Radical Urban Changes, (2012) S. Marini. In RE:CYCLE, pub. Maxxi/Electa 2012-11-26

Constructing Architecture: Materials, Processes, Structures (A Handbook) 2008 (2nd ed.) Andrea Deplazes

VeloCity (2012) Glasgow’s Operational Plan) Glasgow Life, Glasgow City Council, Creative Scotland, Clyde Gateway. Accessed 31 March 2013

2013 unit work is available at